Nanomaterial Containing Wall Paints Can Increase Radon Concentration in Houses Located in Radon Prone Areas

M. Haghani, S. M. J. Mortazavi, R. Faghihi, S. Mehdizadeh, J. Moradgholi, L. Darvish, E. Fathi-Pour, L. Ansari, M. R. Ghanbar-pour


Background: Nowadays, extensive technological advancements have made it possible to use nanopaints which show exciting properties. In IR Iran excessive radon levels (up to 3700 Bq m–3) have been reported in homes located in radon prone areas. Over the past decades, concerns have been raised about the risk posed by resi- dential radon exposure.

Objective: This study aims at investigating the effect of using nanomaterial con- taining wall paints on radon concentration in homes.

Methods: Two wooden model houses were used in this study. Soil samples from Ramsar high background radiation areas were used for simulating the situation of a typical house in radon-prone areas. Conventional water-soluble wall paint was used for painting the walls of the 1st house model; while the 2nd house model was painted with the same wall paint with montmorillonite nanoclay.

Results: Three days after sealing the house models, radon level was measured by using a portable radon survey meter. The mean radon level inside the 1st house model (conventional paint) was 515.3 ± 17.8 Bq/m3 while the mean radon concentra- tion in the 2nd house model (nano-painted house model) was 570.8 ± 18.5 Bq/m3. The difference between these means was statistically significant (P<0.001).

Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first investigation on the effect of nano-material containing wall paints on indoor radon concentrations. It can be concluded that nano-material-containing wall paints should not be used in houses with wooden walls located in radon prone areas. Although the mechanism of this effect is not clearly known, decreased porosity in nano-paints might be a key factor in increasing the radon concentration in homes.


Radon; Radon Prone Areas; Wall Covering; Paint; Nano-montmorillonite; Nanoclay

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